Independent commissioners have approved plans for a new bridge on the road from Queenstown to Invercargill.
But they could not agree on the Transport Agency's plans for the existing Kawarau Falls bridge.
The agency has been working for a decade on the proposed two-lane bridge across the Kawarau River because the one-lane crossing hampers the main road to Invercargill and won't cope with expected growth south of the resort town.
The two commissioners held hearings last month to authorise the bridge and there were no opposing submissions.
The Transport Agency has said it cannot build the new bridge until at least 2015 because Roads of National Significance have soaked up all the funding.